May 2020

News from May 2020

Nature cover May 2020

The discovery at Bacho Kiro cave in Bulgaria has been featured on the cover of the Springer Nature journal in May 2020!

The oldest Upper Paleolithic Homo sapiens in Europe discovered at Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria

 

An international research team, including RESOLUTION principal investigator Sahra Talamo and scientific advisers Bernd Kromer and Jean-Jacques Hublin, reports new Homo sapiens fossils from the site of Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria newly excavated in 2015. The new discovery document the earliest known Upper Paleolithic Homo sapiens and push back the start of this major cultural transition in Europe to approximately 45,000 years ago. The fossils were directly dated and associated with numerous stone and bone tools remains of hunted animals and personal ornaments.

“This site provides evidence for the first dispersal of H. sapiens across the mid-latitudes of Eurasia bringing new behaviours into Europe and interacting with local Neanderthals”, says Jean-Jacques Hublin, director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany (MPI). “The radiocarbon dates at Bacho Kiro Cave are not only the largest dataset of a single Palaeolithic site ever made, but also are the most precise in terms of error ranges”, says Sahra Talamo from the University of Bologna and Bernd Kromer from the MPI . “The majority of animal bones we dated have signs of human impacts such as butchery marks, which, along with the direct dates of human bones, provides us with a really clear chronological picture of when Homo sapiens first occupied this cave, in the interval from 45,820 to 43,650 years ago, and potentially as early as 46,940 years ago”, says Helen Fewlass.

Two new studies published in Nature and Nature Ecology & Evolution describe the extensive work over the past five years performed by the team in Bacho Kiro and you can find them here: 

And to read more see the full Max Planck Press Release.

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